Sony Blames Mobile Games While Pulling the Plug on PlayStation Vita 2
Sony is unlikely to work on a handheld console, given that the performance of the PlayStation Vita has been very much short of thrilling. Video gamers who are expecting to get a hold of a PlayStation Vita 2 in the near future are in for a major disappointment since the company has decided to shelve its plans for a follow up to its existing handheld console. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios laid this question to rest during an interactive session with participants at EGX 2015 in Birmingham.
Yoshida went as far to say that the future of gaming lay with smart phones and not with handheld video game consoles. It is easy to see where Yoshida is coming from. After all, the mobile gaming business is clearly on an upswing, and people love these games not only because they are easy to play, but also because they are free. Furthermore, Yoshida also compared the feeling of playing on a touch screen with that of a console featuring buttons and a stick, saying that mobile gaming definitely offered a different experience to gamers.
It goes without saying that the Vita does fairly good business in Japan, having crossed 4 million in sales figures so far. However, this alone is not something that can keep the company interested since sales of the handheld have plummeted in other parts of the world. In fact, according to reliable estimates, only 2 million units have been sold outside of Japan.
Incidentally, Sony is not the only company to be affected by the mobile gaming business. Nintendo has also experienced a slowdown in sales of its 3DS, which has not been able to match the sales figures of its predecessor, the DS. While Sony does have a point with regards to mobile gaming, it cannot avoid its share of responsibility for the diminishing popularity of the PlayStation Vita.
For starters, first party developers for Sony haven’t been put to work on any new games. As a matter of fact, Sony depends on smaller outfits to create titles for the Vita, while also getting developers to make games that can be used on PlayStation and Vita. Of course, this leaves people who love playing indies with a whole lot of options to choose from.
Most unfortunately, Sony doesn’t seem to have realised who exactly uses its handheld console and what games they prefer to play. There is immense market for niche Japanese video games as well as classic PS1 and PSP games especially on the Vita. However, Sony hasn’t made it easy for its users to do this. Instead of releasing a large number of games for this console, Sony expects its users to use a shortcut to get the games to work.
Sony’s policy of trying to force customers to spend too much money to buy certain accessories for the Vita might also have backfired on it. For instance, the company sells a proprietary memory card for the Vita for $100 when a standard one is available for less than $20.